Negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders of both parties have been undermined by mistakes that could have been avoided by using a better negotiation process, says Robert Bordone, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School.
In an interview with CNN’s “Situation Room” hosted by Wolf Blitzer on February 24, Bordone pointed to common procedural flaws in the way negotiations have been handled, especially during the publicly televised bipartisan health care summit held on Feb. 25 at the Blair House. Among the mistakes he identified: too much transparency.
In a separate interview for Harvard Law Online [see below], Bordone said the academic study of dispute resolution offers a number of methods that could help end gridlock, and he identified some key ways of structuring a better process for talks, including more staff-level talks behind the scenes, better management of constituent expectations, and a more informed approach to dealing with factions bent on playing a “spoiler” role.
Bordone is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard, and the co-editor of the widely used book The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossy-Bass 2005).